For law graduates who are unemployed, it can be challenging to have a delay in getting your career started. After working hard and graduation, it’s easy to become desperate when attempting to land a job. For those who are unemployed law graduates, there are a few tips to consider following.
Decide if Law is Right for You
As an unemployed individual, you can make use of your time off by deciding if becoming a lawyer is the right decision. Although you may be a recent grad, now is the time to make a career change before you’re already several years into practicing law. Although it may be a difficult decision, it’ll be easier to make it now rather than after you’ve already invested several years into your career.
Prepare for Finding a Job
Starting your job search can require a significant amount of time and energy. Prepare in advance by updating your resume and adding any new information that is relevant to working as a lawyer. You can also contact your school to receive help with learning about new positions that may be available to land interviews. Creating a cover letter that allows you to stand out and make an excellent first impression is also necessary before you begin applying for jobs.
Take the Bar Exam
Study extensively to ensure that you can attempt to pass the bar exam the first time without having to start the process over again. In most states, passing the bar on the first try is possible for most individuals. In other locations, it can be a challenge and will require patience. Now is the time to pass the bar exam since you can spend your days and nights studying and taking your time. It can be much more challenging to prepare for the exam if you’re already hired. Consider working with another person to learn where you need to improve and to practice taking the test.
Consider Your Options
Although it can be easy to feel stressed that you haven’t landed a job yet, you can have the time to consider your career preferences before it’s too late. Take advantage of career assessment tools that are available to determine how your personality will work in a legal setting.
For many lawyers, the 9-5 work life is not nearly as common as a 12-hour day. With the constant pressure to meet client demands and working with partners, working around the clock happens more often than not. However, it is important to work smarter in addition to working harder. Many lawyers lose about three-quarters of their billable hours every day, spending only a little more than 2 hours per day on billable work. Ensure you are getting the most use of your time by practicing some of these time-management tips.
Implement the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is also called the Pareto Principle, and applies to nearly all industries and is especially helpful for new lawyers to understand. This rule essentially suggests that about 20 percent of your actions are responsible for about 80 percent of your results. As mentioned earlier, most lawyers only spend about 28 percent of their workday on billable projects and tasks. To help with time management, it’s important that more attention is spent on billable work. Making sure that stays a priority and letting anything else fall to the wayside will allow you to easily keep track of how your time is adding up.
Nothing breaks your focus more than repeatedly breaking away from one case to discuss another. It’s important to schedule uninterrupted time throughout the day to properly focus on a task. Additionally, schedule a certain time for appointments and to return phone calls. While there are some calls that must be taken as they come, many of them can easily be handled by a secretary or scheduled during one of your allotted call times.
Time Your Tasks
Using the Pomodoro method, time your tasks and breaks with the assistance of a kitchen timer. The ideology behind this method is to effectively manage your entire day. You start by picking a task, set the timer for 25 minutes and focus only on that task for the duration of that time. When the timer goes off, you can take a 3-5 minute break. Once you repeat this cycle three or four times, allow yourself to take a longer, 30-minute break. Ultimately, you should see an increase in your focus and productivity, without becoming drained from working long hours.
Create a Prioritized To-Do List
At the end of the day, take some time to make a list in the order it needs to be completed for the next day. While it may seem silly to spend 15 minutes creating a prioritized list, it can be a huge time saver and you can “eat the frog” and get those more difficult tasks completed at the beginning of your day.
About Henry Vinson
Henry Vinson is a 10,000 hour commercial pilot with Single-Engine and Multi-Engine Airplane; Rotorcraft-Helicopter; Instrument-Airplane; Flight Instructor Airplane & Flight Instructor Helicopter ratings. Henry Vinson holds a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, Airplane Owner and Pilot Association, American Marketing Association, American Communications Association, and Experimental Aircraft Association.
Henry Vinson was born in 1960 in South Williamson, Kentucky. He graduated from Williamson High School in 1979, and, after attending South West Virginia Community College, he enrolled in the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. In 1982, he was appointed the Coroner for Mingo County, West Virginia.
Four years later, he became a funeral director for W. W. Chambers Funeral Homein Washington, DC. After his stint at W. W. Chambers Funeral Home, he owned and operated the largest gay escort service ever uncovered in Washington, DC at the age of 26.
In 2007, Mr. Vinson received a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University, and today he is a successful entrepreneur who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Following a successful career as a marketing and advertising consultant, Henry Vinson opted to return to school in 2014 to pursue a law degree. Vinson is currently enrolled in the Juris Doctor Program at William Howard Taft University, America’s oldest nationally accredited distance learning law school.